THE HOLE IN THE GROUND (2019)
Pretty single mom Sarah (Seána Kerslake) lives in a small, remote Irish village with her son Chris (James Quinn Markey). When Chris encounters a large, mysterious sinkhole in the woods near their home, his behavior starts to change. As her son’s actions become more and more disturbing, Sarah starts to believe that he might not be her son at all and that something else came back from that hole in the ground.
Irish horror is directed by Lee Cronin from his script written along with Stephen Shields. While there are some familiar elements, such as doubts about a strange behaving loved one’s identity and no one believing the doubter, Cronin turns this into a very creepy flick. Seána Kerslake also helps by giving a strong performance as Sarah, a woman who has had her own trauma and who is terrified that her child is no longer her son. Cronin and his actress gives us doubts ourselves about Sarah’s belief until Chris’ increasingly odd behavior starts us believing right along with her…but who or what is he? Again, the story is familiar, but skillful and atmospheric direction from Cronin and good work from lead Kerslake, make this a very spooky and unsettling movie. Not everything is explained, but here the ambiguities work in it’s favor and the movie knows how to get under your skin in subtle but disturbing ways. Recommended!